Download Festival – Metal, Mud and Mayhem


1Iron Maiden Download Festival

Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson performing on stage at the Download Festival 2003 at the Donington Park International Conference & Exhibition Centre in Leicestershire.
Iron Maiden were the first band to headline Download festival - playing to 45,000 rabid fans in May 2003. They played on the Saturday night of the event, which was then only two days long. The rockers were supposed to headline alongside Limp Bizkit, but after Fred Durst and his crew pulled out Audioslave stepped in. Their set included songs such as 'Gasoline', 'Like A Stone' and a cover of The Clash's 'White Riot'. Pic: PA Photos


Metallica Perform live on stage at secret gig at the Download Festival at Donington. Half length ©
After Limp Bizkit pulled out of their headline slot back in 2003, Metallica tried to take the Main Stage place, but due to the fact that they were already headlining Reading and Leeds that year, were unable to do so. Instead James Hetfield and the band played a secret, unannounced slot on the Scuzz Stage. Their lively set included 'Blackened', 'Creeping Death', and 'Master of Puppets'. Pic: PA Photos


Mandatory Credit: Photo by Sipa Press / Rex Features ( 506934e ) Damageplan - Guitarist 'Dimebag' Darrell Abbot DAMAGEPLAN IN CONCERT, PITTSBURGH, AMERICA - 28 NOV 2004
In 2004 a third stage was added, and 72 bands played the festival (up on 53 the previous year). Slayer were due to play the Main Stage on the Sunday and arrived on time - however, their equipment did not, which meant that heavy metallers Damageplan had to fill in for them. Sadly, in December 2004, while performing with Damageplan at the Alrosa Villa in Ohio, guitarist Dimebag Darrell was murdered onstage by a former US Marine named Nathan Gale. He was shot five times in the back of the head, killing him instantly. Pic: Rex Features

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Metallica perform on stage at day two of the "Download Festival" Sunday. ©suzan/
Metallica's Sunday night headline slot in June 2004 was not without its hitches when drummer Lars Ulrich was rushed to hospital. Taking to the stage an hour-and-a-half late, James Hetfield explained the situation and the show began with Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo playing on 'Battery' and 'The Four Horsemen'. Slipknot's Joey Jordison played the rest of the set apart from 'Fade To Black', which was played by Metallica's drum technician, Flemming Larsen. They closed the set with classic single 'Enter Sandman'. Pic: PA Photos

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Serj Tankian of System of a Down performs on stage on at the third and final day of this year's Download Festival at Donington Park, Castle Donington on June 12, 2005 in Leicestershire, England. ©suzan/
System of A Down celebrated their 10-year anniversary by closing the festival on Sunday night back in 2005. The band played memorable hits including 'Cigaro' and 'Chop Suey'. In May 2006 the band announced they were going on hiatus, with frontman Serj Tankian releasing his debut solo album, 'Elect The Dead', in 2007. Bassist Shavarsh Odadjian will also be releasing an album with his side project Achozen in early 2010. Pic: PA Photos


**FILE**Members of the heavy metal band Black Sabbath pose in New York Oct. 16, 1998. Seated is Ozzy Osbourne. Standing from left are; Bill Ward, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler. The group along with Miles Davis and the Sex Pistols are among five musical legends to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the organization announced Monday, Nov. 28, 2005. (AP Photo/Jim Cooper) ... 21-10-1998 ... Photo by: JIM COOPER/AP/PA Photos.URN:2727238
Numbers swelled significantly in the crowd when Black Sabbath played their highly-anticipated headline set on the Main Stage in 2005. The band played 'War Pigs' and 'Dirty Woman' before closing the 11-song set with 'Paranoid'. To date, this was Sabbath's last ever UK show. Pic: PA Photos


Mandatory Credit: Photo by Rex Features ( 513878f ) Trivium TRIVIUM, CHICAGO, AMERICA - 21 FEB 2005
Trivium made their Download debut when they opened the Main Stage in 2005. This year marks the return of the Floridian metal outfit. Their Download appearance this year is part of an on-going worldwide tour, which ends in Texas on August 15. Pic: Rex Features


Guns N' Roses' 2006 set at the metal fest was a mix of highs and lows. The band came on over an hour late, despite organisers laying on a private helicopter for Axl Rose. The lead singer threatened to stop the show when a stray bottle from the crowd caused him to slip onstage. After the initial tantrum, Axl commented: "I'm actually having quite a good time now. I couldn't have said that an hour ago." Pic: Phil Wallis


prodigy, SHOT FOR NME MAGAZINE, 110309
Back in 2006 The Prodigy headlined the Snickers stage. The Essex boys return this year to headline the second stage, and are thrilled to be back. "We’re buzzing to be back at Download," said the band, "and we’ll make sure it kicks off as much as the last show we played there three years ago, can't wait!" After Download the band will go on to play RockNess, Glastonbury and Reading and Leeds as part of a huge tour that ends in August. Pic: Dean Chalkley

10Korn Press Conference to Announce Their "See You On the Other Side" Tour

Fieldy, Jonathan Davis, David Silveria, and James "Munky" Shaffer of Korn (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)
Korn hit the Main Stage in 2006 minus a frontman. Lead singer Jonathan Davis had contracted a rare blood disease and had to be hospitalised. He was then replaced by members of Slipknot, Avenged Sevenfold and Trivium. Korn return this year to play the Main Stage today (June 12). Pic: Getty


12Motley Crue in Concert at the Manchester Apollo - June 12, 2007

Vince Neil and Tommy Lee of Motley Crue (Photo by Shirlaine Forrest/WireImage)
Motley Crue stormed the Dimebag Darrell stage in 2007. Their headline slot saw drummer Tommy Lee offering the front row a shot, and asking it to be passed around the entire tent. They are back this year to headline the second stage today (June 12). Pic: Getty

13Kiss // Download 2008

Kiss concluded the first night of Download Festival 2008 with an eye-popping stage show that included pyrotechnics, fireworks and singer Paul Stanley leaving the stage via a zip wire mid-song. Stanley thanked the audience by saying: "Man it seems like tradition every ten years we come to Donington. We couldn't have made it this far without you - we salute you Kiss army!" Pic: Danny North

14Download Festival 2008

Picture by Nick Stevens / / Retna Pictures - Picture Shows: Lostprophets performing live at the Download Festival 2008 at Castle Donington, UK. 15th June 2008. Job: 50269 Ref: NSS - Non-Exclusive *World Rights Only* *Unbylined uses will incur an additional discretionary fee!*
Welsh rockers Lostprophets closed proceedings in 2008 with an eye-catching stage show. Not wanting to be outshone by Kiss, the band filled their Sunday headline slot with flamethrowers, strobe lights and fireworks, much to the crowd's delight. Pic: Retna


Photo by : George Chin / Retna Pictures - Picture shows : Rob Swire of Pendulum performing live on Day 2 of the Download Festival held at Castle Donington, England. 14 June 2008. - Job: 45908 Ref: GCN - Non-Exclusive World Rights *Unbylined uses will incur an additional discretionary fee!*
Pendulum played the Turborg Stage last year on the Saturday, June 14 before Ash and headliners HIM. The Australian drum 'n' bass outfit return this year to play the Main Stage on Saturday before Marilyn Manson and Slipknot (June 13). This will be the second time they have played the event, they will then go on to play Glastonbury and T In The Park. Pic: RetnaUK

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After famously calling it a day in April 1998, Faith No More will headline Download Festival at Donington Park today (June 12), the opening day of the festival. The band played the O2 Academy Brixton in London earlier this week (June 10), treating fans to a pre-Download two-hour show, including both classic hits and more obscure material from the band's back catalogue.


Anvil are set to headline the Tuborg Stage this year on Saturday (June 13) after The Architects. The heavy metal gods have recently documented their band's long history in the film 'Anvil! The Story of Anvil'. They come back to Donington Park after an incredible 27-year gap, having last performed at 1982’s Monsters of Rock Festival.
Pic: Danny North


Iowa metallers Slipknot will play Download for the third time this year when they headline the Main Stage on Saturday (June 13). Singer Corey Taylor said: “We're so stoked to be coming back. It's been too long - Download is another home for us. I'm looking forward to total destruction. Headlining this festival is a dream come true!”

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